We study ultrahigh frequency surface acoustic wave propagation in nickel-on-sapphire nanostructures. The use of ultrafast, coherent, extreme ultraviolet beams allows us to extend optical measurements of propagation dynamics of surface acoustic waves to frequencies of nearly 50 GHz, corresponding to wavelengths as short as 125 nm. We repeat the measurement on a sequence of nanostructured samples to observe surface acoustic wave dispersion in a nanostructure series. These measurements are critical for accurate characterization of interfaces beneath very thin films using this technique.

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